Pakistan and China have decided to jointly launch three new projects in addition to the existing multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the all-weather allies seek to ramp up bilateral ties in various sectors, including agriculture, health and science and technology.
Speaking at the China Economic Net (CEN) in Beijing, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moinul Haq said the three new projects are China-Pakistan Green Corridor (CPGC), China-Pakistan Health Corridor (CPHC) and China-Pakistan Digital Corridor (CPDC), The New International newspaper reported on Saturday.
The first will focus on agricultural environment, food security and green development and the second will help Pakistan get efficiency in the medical field, while the third will boost Pakistan’s IT industry, it said.
Ambassador Haque said Pakistan has a rich repertoire of talent and human resources in different fields of science and technology, asserting that IT-based science and technology has become very important for Pakistan.
“We would be an important source of help for China in terms of software development. So, we are working together to set up training centres in Pakistan for developing software in different fields of IT,” he said.
Haque attached much significance to the new projects that are being launched with great enthusiasm.
The report quoted sources in Pakistan as saying that the formal launching of the projects could take place during the next month’s visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China who has been invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The schedule and relevant details for the trip are being worked out through diplomatic channels on a priority basis, it said.
The new corridors would become sources of strengthening Pakistan-China ties and will provide a new unshakable bond of the proximity of the two nations, it said.
The sources reminded that the scope of Pakistan-China friendship and cooperation would help Pakistan to overcome its economic complexities and start moving on the path of fiscal self-sufficiency, it added.
Launched in 2015, CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China’s ambitious multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India has objected to CPEC as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The CPEC was launched in 2015 when President Xi visited Pakistan. Energy and infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars have been completed under the project which has been billed as a ‘game-changer’ by the senior officials of the two countries.